When it comes to overtraining, everyone knows this is the worst that can happen to you when you are trying to build muscle, of course after the injuries. I guess everyone already knows that overtraining should be avoided at all cost. Or put in simple words, overtraining = NO gains.
If we need to be accurate, overtraining is defined as a physical and / or emotional state where the volume and intensity of physical exercise exceeds the body’s ability to recover and adapt. Those who do overtrain are experiencing a sharp decline in achievements and results, loss of motivation and mood swings. Other symptoms are:
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
- Constant muscle soreness
- lack of energy
- Stagnation of results (plateau)
- Decreased immunity
Is overtraining a myth or reality?
For the most, it is a myth. The lack of results they explain with not enough food, not enough sleep, or the lack of budget for proper supplements. I have heard this sh*t hundreds of times.
But let’s think a bit about what muscle growth is all about:
- Phase 1 – Stimulation
- Phase 2 – Recovery
- Phase 3 – Growth
It’s just that in order for the muscles to grow, we must go through all three phases. We are not allowed to jump right to the third stage, we can’t skip any of them. The order is 1-2-3.
When we are doing our workout, we are in Phase 1. As soon as we finish and exit the gym, we are now in Phase 2, here it is up to us to go through this phase properly. The goal is for the body and in particular the muscles to be fully restored to the level they were before the workout. How long is that going to take? Some says 24 or 48 hours. The truth is that this time is strictly individual and different for everyone.
When Phase 2 is over, Phase 3 starts. Here is the real muscle growth. This phase also takes time (24 to 48 hours). Only after the phase is over, we should repeat the workout. How long does this phase takes is for everyone to figure out for themselves? Don‘t forget that nobody knows your body better than you, so trust your own judgment and try not to be influenced by the advice of some “professionals”.
Main reasons for overtraining
The main reasons for experiencing symptoms of overtraining are:
How long should you wait before you hit the same muscle group?
Well, that’s what it’s called a “million dollar question”, to which everyone has to answer for themselves. That’s because everything is strictly individual. I know this is not the answer you are hoping to hear but it indeed is the truth.
Some people see the best results by training each muscle group 2-3 times a week, while others are training each group once a week.
My advice for you is to experiment, so you can get to know your body better. Train individual muscle groups once a week. After a week or two, try shuffling your program so that you can train each group with 6 days of a resting period. Do this for 2-3 weeks. If you feel well rested and fresh, try removing another day. This way you’ll find how to maximize muscle growth without experiencing the bad effects from overtraining.